Updates from Tuesday, May 27
John McClain of the Houston Chronicle provides an update on Arian Foster from coach Bill O'Brien:
Bill OBrien said Arian Foster is healthy and can do anything they need him to do.— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) May 27, 2014
There is finally reason for optimism for the Houston Texans, as Arian Foster, one of the faces of the franchise for the past several seasons, has been medically cleared after surgery and rehab for his back injury.
Foster confirmed the news himself via Twitter on Sunday morning:
And for those wondering, I've been medically cleared by my doctor.— Arian Foster (@ArianFoster) March 16, 2014
The medical professional who performed Foster's surgery, Dr. Robert Watkins, issued a statement Wednesday about the November procedure, via Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle:
Texans running back Arian Foster underwent a microscopic lumbar discectomy surgery...at the Marina Del Rey Hospital in Los Angeles on Nov. 13. The surgery went well and the timing of his return to football will depend on his progression through the rehabilitation program.
Not only did the announcement mark Foster's official return to health, it also ended his hiatus on Twitter that lasted for over a year, as Nick Mathews of the Houston Chronicle noted:
Prior to his injury, Foster compiled 542 yards on an average of 4.5 yards per carry with the Texans during his eight games in 2013. In each of the previous three seasons, Foster toted the ball for at least 1,200 yards and 10 touchdowns, including a 1,616-yard, 16-touchdown campaign in 2010.
Though he's been recovering from the procedure for several months now, Foster has worked tirelessly during the offseason to make a full recovery for the 2014 season.
Texans general manager Rick Smith spoke to the star running back's rehab process in February, per Tania Ganguli of ESPN.com.
"He's working hard, he's in the building, he's in the training room consistently," Smith said. "The reports I'm getting from Geoff [Kaplan, head trainer] indicate he's going to be fine."
Can the Texans make the playoffs in 2014?
It's been a long, tough road for the Texans over the past year. Touted as a Super Bowl contender, the franchise went into a downward spiral that resulted in Gary Kubiak being fired and has Matt Schaub potentially looking for a new home.
Now Foster is healthy again and could have a new quarterback sharing the backfield with him if the Texans decide to draft a signal-caller with the No. 1 pick. He will also be the lead back with no safety net, as Ben Tate recently signed with the Cleveland Browns, putting pressure on Foster's shoulders to produce.
But with Foster medically cleared and ready to return to the Texans for offseason workouts and the regular season, the outlook is bright for a return to the playoffs in 2014.
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